Theater students had 10-minute scene auditions

Every fall semester the students in the Principals of Directing class get the chance to direct 10-minute scenes, often the first time the students ever directed a show. On Oct. 15 and 16 in the Bea Wood Studio Theatre, seven theater majors got the chance to watch students audition for the chance to be cast in one of their 10-minute scenes.

“I’m enthusiastic to try my hand at a new craft,” Ben Ashton, theater senior, said.

As part of strike, Ben Ashton directs the UGC sign as other crew lower it from above on Monday, March 5, 2018. Photo by Jeromy Stacy

Half of the directors are going through the process for the first time. First-time director and theater senior, Shae Dorsman, was in charge of lip-sync scenes when she attended S.H. Rider High School but doesn’t consider that actually directing.

“I’m excited to interpret a script by myself,” Dorsman said.

While most of the students have never directed before, theater seniors, Dean Hart and Christopher Cruz, both have previous directing credits. Hart directed for the first time with “Shakespeare’s R&J” in April of 2018, and Cruz directed a scene from the show “Facing Our Truth” in Feb. of 2018. Even though this isn’t their first time directing, it is their first time doing it for a grade. Since Hart volunteered to direct in the spring, he was given fewer restrictions, but is enjoying what he’s learning in class.

“Structure helps the show become more developed,” Hart said.

The directors will have until December to rehearse and perfect their scenes, which is something that Hart and Cruz didn’t have. Both Cruz and Hart prepared their shows in less than a month and are excited to get the chance to really see character development occur in the rehearsal process.

Theater senior, Addrian Gaut Jr. was a director last year, and this year auditioned for the scenes. While Gaut primarily likes to act, he said he enjoyed his time as a director, but is excited to be the one auditioning again.

“It’s intimidating and scary to direct,” Gaut said. “It’s also weird going from directing my peers, to my peers directing me.”

The directors were not able to get through auditions alone. Theater junior Emily Burns acted as the stage manger for the auditions.

“I’m like a mom on the sidelines cheering everyone on,” Burns said.

Burns has been in two 10-minute scenes in previous years, but this year she decided to take a step back and run the auditions.

“It’s nice to be able to talk the people who are auditioning through the process and relate to them,” Burns said. “I was in their shoes last year so I can tell them what to expect.”

Actors that were cast in scenes will be notified by their directors.